South Floridians....notice something new popping up in the organic section of your local grocery store? ------- Dandelion leaves. Dandelion leaves are packed with iron, calcium and antioxidant properties - for a full list click the link below.
You're suggesting I start eating a weed? WHY?
Here is my harvest for Monday .......
Bottom of pic are tomatoes 'Mortgage Lifter's followed by two sweet banana peppers and a couple of rather small cabbages along with my almost total harvest of onions. I want to eat those cabbages, onions and tomats while they are still super fresh, so without further ado burbling about my veggie garden here's the recipe.
Cabbage and Dandelion Soup
You will need:
2 cups of green cabbage - cut into fine ribbons
2 cups of ORGANIC dandelion leaves (will reduce to 1 cup when cooked)
2 cups freshly chopped whole tomatoes or half fresh and half canned
1 small onion sliced thinly
3 large white potatoes
2 cups sliced white or portabella mushrooms
2 stalks celery with leaves - chopped
1/2 cup of frozen or canned corn
Grapeseed Oil, or Canola
salt and pepper, 1 tsp dried Marjoram and I used two leaves of shredded fresh Sage
1 tsp of minced garlic
8 cups of vegetarian stock (two cubes to 8 cups)
Optional: Cooked rice or bacon if you want something non-meatless.
Heat an oiled pan with the oil and cook the sliced onions til golden.
Meanwhile dissolve 2 vegetarian bouillon cubes in 2 cups of water.
When onions are golden add the teaspoon of minced garlic and stir every few minutes on a low setting. Then add the sliced mushrooms.
In a separated pan boil at least 8 cups of salted water.
Wash the dandelion leaves well and trim the stems off (if you wish)
When the mushrooms look like this add the cabbage 'ribbons' to pot with two cups of stock. Then add the cabbage and the 1 tsp of Marjoram.... allow to simmer and not boil.
In the separate pan of boiling salted water add the dandelion leaves. Get a large bowl of iced water ready.
Set your timer for one minute and add the dandelion leaves to the boiling water, remove after one minute and transfer to the iced water 'bath' to stop the cooking process. Now peel and chop the potatoes into little pieces and add to the already boiling water leftover from dandelion blanching. Don't overcook they will take less than 4 minutes. After 4 mins remove from heat and let them soften in the water.
Drain dandelion leaves and add to cabbage soup mixture along with 6 cups of water and the chopped tomatoes, celery and the 1/2 cup of corn - now tear up the two leaves of sage and add that to soup - I added salt substitute and lots of freshly ground black pepper - put a lid on it and simmer for 25 minutes, then add the drained potato back in and serve.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it can be a soup - as is....or you could drain off the broth and just use the veggies as a complete side dish for your chicken, salmon or steak dinner. It doesn't get any better than that!
I could taste everything in this dish, from the slightly bitter tang of the dandelion to the nutty, crunch of the fresh cabbage. The onions added a delicious pungency and the mushrooms, celery and tomato added another dimension and the marjoram/sage essence was tangible but not overpowering. The corn added a sweetness.
The whole weed known as dandelion is edible. It is not recommended that you harvest dandelions from a yard that has used pesticides of any kind.
When Dandelion leaves are over 5" long they tend to be bitter. To remove the bitter taste (which doesn't bother me, I can eat Arugula "Rocket" fresh out of the garden) you will need to blanche them. Put a large pot of water on stove and add sea salt, set to boil and prepare leaves. Wash and rinse leaves and trim stem if you wish. Set a large bowl of iced water on the side. Drop the dandelion leaves into boiling water - set your timer for one minute. Remove from heat and drop into iced water to stop the cooking process. Then add to your dish.